Australia says EU has postponed free trade talks for second time By Reuters

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) -The European Union has postponed the subsequent spherical of free commerce talks with Australia for a second time, the Australian commerce minister stated on Friday, amid simmering anger over Canberra’s resolution to cancel a $40 billion contract with France.

Dan Tehan stated the twelfth spherical of talks with the EU had been postponed for the second time this month, this time till February 2022. The talks had been beforehand postpone by a month from mid-October.

“The European Union have suggested the Australian authorities that Spherical 12 of the FTA negotiations will now happen in February,” Tehan stated in an announcement to Reuters.

The European Fee, which oversees commerce coverage for the 27-nation European Union, stated it had not scheduled a resumption of commerce talks in November, with no new date set for the twelfth spherical to happen.

A mid-November spherical might have been awkward timing given it might have coincided with the top of world local weather change talks in Scotland, with Brussels searching for larger commitments on local weather motion from Canberra as a part of the commerce deal.

Australia in September cancelled a cope with France’s Naval Group to construct a fleet of typical submarines and can as a substitute construct a minimum of eight nuclear-powered submarines with U.S. and British expertise, after hanging a trilateral safety partnership known as AUKUS with these two international locations.

The cancellation angered France, which accused each Australia and america of stabbing it within the again. Paris recalled its ambassadors from each Canberra and Washington.

In solidarity with France, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen questioned whether or not the bloc might strike a commerce cope with Australia.

The brand new improvement comes simply weeks after Tehan informed Reuters he anticipated to finalise a free commerce settlement with the EU by the top of subsequent 12 months.

Australia has sought to fix relations with the EU and France in latest weeks, appointing a senior aide to Prime Minister Scott Morrison as envoy to the 27-nation bloc.

The French ambassador to Australia returned this week to Canberra the place he has stated he intends to guage Australia’s said dedication to repairing ties.

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